Read the metadata of an item#

Metadata is used, among other things, for fetching and viewing items. Sometimes, an item might not contain rich metadata and, consequently, not show up in search results.

This tutorial shows you how to read the metadata of an item on the Internet Archive.


The instructions in this tutorial assume that you’re using Python 3.

The following things must be available:

  • The internet archive package in your environment. If it isn’t, install it by running the following command:

    pip install internetarchive
  • The unique identifier of the item you’re reading the metadata for. If you don’t have it, see Find the unique identifier of an item in a collection.


Use the get_item object of the internetarchive module to read the metadata of an item.

The following code snippet prints the metadata of an item that has appropsA013019_1 as the unique identifier.

from internetarchive import get_item

item = get_item('appropsA013019_1')

for k,v in item.metadata.items():

Sample output#

identifier : appropsA013019_1
collection : ['us_senate', 'usgovfilms', 'newsandpublicaffairs']
creator : United States Senate Committee on Appropriations
date : 01/30/19
language : English
mediatype : movies
scanner : Internet Archive Python library 3.0.0
subject : ['United States Senate Committee on Appropriations', 'Senate Committee Hearings', 'Congressional Hearing']
title : Business Meeting:Conference Meeting to Consider Homeland Security Appropriations
uploader :
publicdate : 2022-06-02 17:39:38
addeddate : 2022-06-02 17:39:38